The Switch-Back Gravity Railroad was completed in 1827 to transport coal from Summit Hill to Mauch Chunk and on to the Lehigh Canal for delivery to points south. For almost 20 years this was a one way trip from Summit Hill to Mauch Chunk and soon proved to be a problem. Empty cars had to wait for the full cars, thus creating a bottle-neck in Mauch Chunk. A return track, or back-track, from Mauch Chunk to Summit Hill was completed in 1845.The back track consisted of two planes, Mount Pisgah and Mount Jefferson, to deliver the cars to the tops of their respective hills. The ride from Mt. Pisgah to Mt. Jefferson was almost 7 miles. A barney car, connected to steel bands from an engine house atop the hill, pulled the cars uphill and gravity took over from there. The ride up the Mt. Pisgah plane was over 2300 feet while Mt. Jefferson was just over 2000 feet. The distance between the planes was nearly 7 miles and the ride from Mt. Jefferson into Summit Hill was less than 1 mile.
If you would like to view other pictures of Summit Hill click on the buttons below to visit other views of town.
|Back to the home page.|
|Views of Front (Ludlow), Holland, White, Hazard, Chestnut, and Market Streets.|
|Pictures of the town Schools and Churches.|
|This page has pictures from soda bottles, Pharmacy bottles, and early Victorian Trade cards from stores.|
|View pictures of the Burning Mines and some of the equipment used.|
|Pictures of the Armory, SwitchBack Station, Eagle Hotel, Summit Inn, Post Office and early pictures of houses.|
|This page has views of the Panther Creek Valley and also some 'general' mining views.|
|This page lists the graduating classes up to 1929 (I will be adding more) as well as a couple of graduation pictures.|
|If you have a website, or a list of surnames with your email address, pertaining to relatives that lived in the Panther Valley, email me and I will add the list to this page.|